Friday, May 30, 2014

Guest Review - The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry

Guest Review – The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry 

September, 1861: All is not as it seems. With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln. And as the first bloody clashes of the Civil War unfold, Lincoln alone must decide how best to use this volatile knowledge: Save thousands of American lives? Or keep the young nation from being torn apart forever?

The present: In Utah, the fabled remains of Mormon pioneers, whose 19th century expedition across the desert met with a murderous end, have been uncovered. In Washington, D.C., the official investigation of a international entrepreneur, an elder in the Mormon church, has sparked a political battle between the White House and a powerful United States senator. In Denmark, a Justice Department agent, missing in action, has fallen into the hands of a dangerous zealot – a man driven by divine visions to make a prophet’s words reality. And in a matter of a few short hours, Cotton Malone has gone from quietly selling books at his shop in Denmark to dodging bullets in a high-speed boat chase.

All it takes is a phone call from his former boss in Washington, and suddenly the ex-agent is racing to rescue an informant carrying critical intelligence. It’s just the kind of perilous business that Malone has been trying to leave behind, ever since he retired from the Justice Department. But once he draws enemy blood, Malone is plunged into a deadly conflict – a constitutional war secretly set in motion over 200 years ago by America’s Founding Fathers.

From the streets of Copenhagen to the catacombs of Salzburg to the rugged mountains of Utah, the grim specter of the Civil War looms as a dangerous conspiracy gathers power. Malone risks life, liberty, and his greatest love in a race for the truth about Abraham Lincoln —- while the fate of the United States of America hangs in the balance.

Cheryl’s review: 

I’ve been a huge fan of Steve Berry for years and had the pleasure of meeting him (briefly) at BEA a few years ago. I enjoy the conspiracy-theory-fast-paced novels that suck you in, and he always does.

Cotton Malone returns in The Lincoln Myth as do numerous other characters in the series. Cotton gets involved in a race against time, this time in a conspiracy that could change the United States forever. Berry does extensive research and takes facts and spins a tale that make you think “what if?” What if Abraham Lincoln really did what happens in the novel? What if how we think of the “united” states really hangs in the balance?

What Berry also does is develop his characters. Though the same people, circumstances and events change who they are to themselves and to each other. The twists and turns in this mystery will affect the characters in future books. The book is a perfect summer read and as always, it will be hard to wait another year to see what he comes up with next.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Guest Review: Desperate by Daniel Palmer

Cheryl returns to review Daniel Palmer's fourth book.

“Gage Dekker still blames himself for the car accident that claimed the lives of his first wife and young son. Then he meets Anna, who understands grief all too well. Within a year, Gage and Anna are married, his career is thriving, and both feel ready to become parents once more.

After a heartbreaking miscarriage, they begin the long adoption process, until fate brings Lily into their lives. Young, pregnant, and homeless, Lily agrees to give her baby to Gage and Anna in exchange for financial support. It’s the perfect arrangement for everyone. Seeing his wife’s happiness and optimism for their new life and child, Gage begins to feel a sense of hope he thought he’d lost forever.

But something isn’t right once Lily enters their lives. At work and at home, Gage is being sabotaged, first in subtle ways, then things take a more sinister turn. Every attempt he makes to uncover the truth only drives a wedge between him and Anna. Even as he’s propelled toward an unthinkable choice to save his marriage and his job, Gage discovers that the most chilling revelations are still to come…”

This is Palmer’s fourth book, and my fourth review of his books. He is cemented in my “I-really-look-forward-to-the-next-book” author list. And he doesn’t disappoint. I’ve mentioned his growth in writing in my previous reviews, and he continues to get better. When I started Desperate, I had no idea what it was about. I received an advanced copy which has quotes and blurbs but no description. As I read, I was continually stumped as to where the book was going, just the way I like a mystery.

What Palmer excels at is taking ordinary people and putting them in situations that push them to their limits, and then beyond. For happy newlyweds who want a baby, the coincidental meeting of a young, pregnant woman with no place to go is almost too good to be true. But as the planning begins, little things seem a little off to Gage. But his desire to start a family with his beautiful bride leads him to ignore his qualms. Until certain incidents force him to make a life-changing choice.

Like his other books, Palmer continually surprised me in this book. He is talented in leading you in a specific direction. As an avid mystery reader, I know that authors purposely divert you down a different path. Palmer does that very well, but always spins things into a different and unexpected direction and up until the very end, there were twists and turns. I like how he does this because even though there may be little hints, there’s often revelations that seemingly come out of nowhere but are very believable. Gage continually makes choices that dig him deeper, even though he knows he might never get out. As you experience Gage’s situation with him, you think about what you would do in the same situation.

Desperate is a fast-paced read, which I pretty much finished in a day. As always, the biggest disappointment is knowing that I have to wait a year until the next one. I put Daniel Palmer in the same group as authors like Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Thomas Perry, and Rick Mofina. He’s an author that is addicting and rarely (if ever) writes a book that doesn’t leave me wanting more.
And check out my reviews of Stolen, Delirious, and Helpless.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Petals on the Wind by V.C. Andrews

 Summer is coming, everyone and V.C. Andrews should be on your beach book list, even if it is just for a re-read!

FICTION INTO FILM: Pick up Petals on the Wind May 20th and watch the movie May 26th!

WATCH: The movie trailer, and tune in to Lifetime on  Monday, May 26th, 9:00 pm ET to watch the World Premier of Petals on the Wind!

ENTER TO WIN: Go to the Pocket Books Facebook page beginning May 20th to enter the sweepstakes for a prize pack of Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind, and the Flowers in the Attic DVD.  Visit right before tuning into Petals on the Wind late May for the sweepstakes giveaway (date to be announced)!

Petals on the Wind cast:
Heather Graham              as Corrine
Ellen Burstyn                      as Olivia
Dylan Bruce                        as Bart
Rose McIver                       as Young Cathy (played by Kiernan Shipka in Flowers in the Attic)
Wyatt Nash                        as Christopher (played by Mason Dye in Flowers in the Attic)

If you were a child of the 80s, V.C. Andrews was your forbidden pleasure. Her books were not quite teen, not quite adult books; something in between that  gave you the thrill of wanting more. Tragic tales of families; betrayal, secrets, romance, hope. A soap opera world that one could not imagine.

Some months ago they re-released Flowers in the Attic and also made an updated movie version. (I think I've seen the 1987 movie version about 42 times now). 
This sparked my interest once again. 

Click on the links above to watch the new movie trailer and enter to win a prize pack. If you are new to V.C. Andrews, start with Flowers in the Attic and continue on to Petals. 
You will be in for a treat.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child